By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Leader of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in the Western Zone, Chief Alfred Oforbike John, has called on the police and the Nigeria Customs Service to arrest and prosecute the Chairman of 100% compliant team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim.
Tanko had in an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND alleged that some unscrupulous customs valuation officers were conniving with freight forwarders to perpetrate fraud in clearance of vehicles.
NAGAFF top man alleged that due to the constant jack up of PAAR from customs headquarters Abuja, most Freight Forwarders have started cutting corners by conniving with valuation officers and releasing officers to get Ex-factory price as value payable on used vehicle.
He alleged that with the connivance of customs officials, freight forwarders would describe imported batteries or imported wine as used vehicles because they don’t want to pay duty.
Chief Oforbike while speaking with journalists on Tuesday, said that Tanko should be arrested for him to provide more information on the terrible act.
The ANLCA leader alleged that the 100% compliance team headed by Tanko was a cartel that is being used to intimidate customs officials into submission.
“Tanko should be investigated, concerning the allegations he made, he should be held so that he can provide more information on how to stop the fraud practice, he cannot just come out publicity and make such statements without providing information.
“The 100percent compliance they are doing is a cartel, they use it to intimidate customs officers. They go about dropping names.
“The allegations he made against freight forwarders is as a result of failed business deal between Tanko and some of his cartel. government needs to look into this cartel and break it”
“We have seen where criminals went to break bank vault and stole huge amount of money, when it comes to sharing formula, there is disagreement and the last man decided to go to the police and blow everything open.
“Tanko that is blowing this whistle now, police should check him, who are the importers he has? why is he drinking Panadol for another person’s headache?” Oforbike stated
While reacting to allegations of disparity in the issuance of Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which was equally levelled against customs by Alhaji Tanko, Chief Oforbike said the Nigeria Customs Service issues PAAR based on certain parameters and existing data. He said the customs don’t know who owns anything, what they work with is document.
“To get value for your import, you have to write an application to the Area Controller, he would study it and minute it to the valuation head. After this, the document would be pushed to the shed, where the examining officers would check the container.
“Valuation officers are not part of the examination and any valuation issued can be queried if you are not satisfied”
“Tanko that is talking, what is his background? Is he trained?
When you say 100 compliance team, it is just a smokescreen to blackmail the customs.
“He is now telling you that agents are collaborating with customs to cheat government, is it the agent that import?
It is the duty of the agent to clear cargo and interprete the policy of the government to the importer.
“The 100% compliance team are cliques of fraud in the system, they are not licensed agents, go and find out
“So many containers were seized by the Area Controller Apapa, Tanko was the owner of the said containers, where was his 100% compliance then?
“There is data, customs have their data in issuing value to imports, they look at the previous imports you have been carrying out. They use data” Oforbike said